Mars JupiterThe Earth Saturn By Olga DiavastisVenus UranusMercury NeptuneThe Sun Pluto Stars and Planets Images
The Sun• The Sun is the star found at the centre of the Solar System. It makes up around 99.86% of the Solar System’s mass.• As the Sun is 1,392,000 kilometres (865,000 miles) wide, it’s diameter is about 110 times wider than Earth’s.• Light from the Sun reaches Earth in around 8 minutes, so if the Sun blew up, we would know after 8 minutes.• The Sun’s surface temperature is around 5500° Celsius (9941° Fahrenheit), so pack plenty of sunscreen if you plan on visiting! (Remembering that the average distance from the Sun to the Earth is around 150 million kilometres, so it might take a while!)• If you think the surface is hot, the Sun’s core is around 13,600,000° Celsius!• Around 74% of the Sun’s mass is made up of something called hydrogen. Helium makes up around 24% while heavier elements such as oxygen, carbon, iron and neon make up the remaining percentage.• The Sun generates huge amounts of energy by combining hydrogen nuclei into helium. This process is called nuclear fusion.• Because of the Sun’s huge influence on Earth, many early cultures saw the Sun as a deity or god. For example, Ancient Egyptians had a sun god called Ra while in Aztec mythology there is a sun god named Tonatiuh.• A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth.• The Sun exploded into existence 4.5 BILLION YEARS AGO!!!!!!! Press on title to go back to the homepage.
Mercury• On Mercury, sunshine is more than 6 times brighter than it is on Earth. This is because Mercury is closer to the Sun.• As Mercury is too close to the Sun, it has no atmosphere.• Light from the Sun takes only about 3 minutes to reach Mercury.• It takes 88 Earth days to circle round the Sun.• It takes 59 Earth days for one rotation on its axis!• Mercury is the smallest planet (not counting Pluto).• The surface of Mercury is very similar to our moon. It has a barren, rocky surface with lots of craters.• Being so close to the Sun, the daytime temperature on Mercury is scorching- reaching a 400° Celsius!!!• At night however, without an atmosphere to hold the heat in, the temperatures plummet, dropping to -180° Celsius!• Mercury is the fastest moving planet in our Solar System! Press on title to go back to the homepage.
Venus• The atmosphere is made of Carbon Dioxide.• Venus and Earth are very close in size, only Earth is slightly larger.• Venus is the Roman name for the Greek goddess Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty.• In many ways, Venus is Earth’s sister planet. It is almost identical in size, chemistry, gravity and density as the Earth.• Because Venus is so close to Earth, it is seen as the brightest planet in the night sky.• Venus and Mercury are the ONLY 2 planets which do not have moons!!!• There are more volcanoes on Venus than any other planet in the Solar System.• Venus rotates so slowly that it orbits the sun faster than it can make one whole rotation on its axis. In other words, it has a longer day than year!• So, it takes 243 days for Venus to make a rotation, and 224 days to circle the sun!!!• The planet rotates from East to West. The only other planet that does this is Uranus. Press on title to go back to the homepage.
The Earth• Magma is the hot liquid rock under the surface of the Earth, it is known as lava when it comes out of a volcano.• Hawaii is moving towards Japan at a speed of 10 centimetres a year.• Stretching out to an impressive length of 6696 kilometres (4160 miles) long, the Nile River is the longest river on Earth.• Mt Everest is the highest mountain on Earth. Its peak reaches 8,848 meters (29028 feet) above sea level.• On average, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest of Earth’s major oceans.• Earthquakes that occur out at sea can cause huge tsunamis capable of reaching land and endangering people.• The Earth isn’t perfectly round, it is slightly flattened at the North and South Poles.• Although Earthquakes can be deadly, most are very small and aren’t even felt by humans!• Our planet’s rapid spin and molten nickel-iron core give rise to a magnetic field which the solar wind distorts into a tear-drop shape and it is this magnetic field that protects us from the Solar radiation.• The surface of our planet is very young because it is always changing. It is made up of different sections called tectonic plates, which move over time, reshaping the Earth’s surface. Press on title to go back to the homepage.
Mars• Mars had 3 major ages, or time periods, Each lasting many millions of years. These ages were named for different geographic areas of Mars. The earliest age, The Noachian Age, next the Hesperian Age, and the present age is the Amazonian age.• The reason that Mars hasn’t got life, is that it is too cold and its atmosphere is too thin for water to exist.• Mars is often the 3rd brightest celestial object in our sky after the Moon and Venus. At other times, it becomes much dimmer.• So much water in the form of ice exist in Martian polar regions, that scientist worry it would flood the planet if it melted.• The sunlight reflected by the Earth, as seen from the surface of Mars, is called “Earthshine”.• There are places on Mars that radar signals strike the surface and vanish.• Mars is only half the size of Earth and has only a third of Earth’s gravity!!!• The largest canyon on Mars would stretch from New York to Los Angeles!• The Olympus Mons is the highest volcano in the Solar System. With a height of 16.7 miles, it is more than twice as tall as Mount Everest!• The average distance form Mars to the Sun is 228 million km! Press on title to go back to the homepage.
JupiterJupiter is the largest planet in our Solar system. It is so bigthat more than 1300 Earths could fit in it.It is famous for its swirling winds, the biggest of which is“The Red Spot”.There are storms on Jupiter that make a hurricane on Earth look like a small breeze!!!Jupiter has at least 63 moons! The 4 most known (and largest!) are Ganymede, Callisto, Europaand Io. Ganymede is the biggest moon in the Solar System.Jupiter has a thin set of rings, hardly visible from Earth, even with telescopes!Jupiter’s atmosphere is made of thick, colourful clouds of deadly, poisonous gases that graduallybecome thicker and hotter. At around 1,000 Km down, the pressure squeezes them into liquid.Closer to the centre there is an ocean of liquid hydrogen, about 1,000 kilometres deep,surrounding the core. Jupiter’s rocky core is slightly bigger than Earth but weighing about 20times more.Jupiter is considered to be a failed star because it didn’t have the right conditions to start nuclearfusion with its hydrogen mass.If we were able to see Jupiters radiation belt from Earth, Jupiter would appear as big as theSun.Jupiter is the planet with the strongest pull of gravity in the Solar System. Press on title to go back to the homepage.
Saturn• Saturn’s rings may be particles of an old moon orbiting the planet, smashed apart in a collision millions years ago.• Saturn has 53 moons!!! Not a lot compared to Jupiter.• Saturn is not the only planet to have rings. All of the Gas Giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) have a thin set of rings.• It’s largest moon, Titan, is the only moon in the Solar System to possess an atmosphere.• Titans atmosphere is made of methane.• It is thought that Titans atmosphere is so thick, and its gravity so weak, that humans beings could strap on a set of wings and fly through its skies. Of course, its too cold to survive there but its an interesting thought!• A year on Saturn would take almost 30 Earth years. However, a day on Saturn is about 10 and a half hours.• Saturn is quite often regarded as one of the most beautiful and outstanding objects in the Solar System.• Saturns rings can be seen with even a small telescope. A larger telescope show that there are multiple rings.• Its beautiful rings are 169,800 miles wide, but the rings are amazingly thin, less than a kilometre thick! Press on title to go back to the homepage.
Uranus Uranus‘s pale blue colour is caused by the methane in its atmosphere which filters out red light. If we were able to see Uranus moons orbiting the planet, they would go over and under the planet like lights on a ferris wheel. Uranus has 27 moons (so far discovered!) orbiting the planet. A day on Uranus is a few hours shorter than a day on Earth - the planet takes 17 hours to spin on its axis. However, a year on Uranus is much longer than a year on Earth. In fact, it takes 84 years on Earth for Uranus to complete one orbit around the Sun! Uranus axis tilt causes a night on one of the poles to last for 21 Earth years, a quarter of the time it takes for the planet to orbit the Sun. Its tilt of 97.77° makes it the only planet that sort of rolls on its orbit around the Sun. The planets known of at the time of the discovery of Uranus were Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Uranus was named after the sky in Greek mythology. “Uranus” is Greek for sky. Almost all of the moons of Uranus are named after characters in plays written by Shakespeare. The moons of every other planet in the Solar System are named after characters in Greek mythology. The two moons of Uranus that are not named after Shakespearean characters (Arlel and Umbriel) are named after characters in a book called "The Rape of the Lock" written by Alexander Pope. Uranus is just about visible from Earth without a telescope as a very faint star. Press on title to go back to the homepage.
Neptune• Neptune sometimes orbits the Sun further away than Pluto. From 1979 to 1999, Pluto was closer to the Sun than Neptune. As Pluto was classified as a planet at the time, Neptune was then the ninth planet from the Sun.• Neptune has four faint rings. Some parts of these rings are brighter in areas than others and appear like arcs orbiting the planet. Maybe they are still forming.• Neptune was discovered when scientists noticed something peculiar about Uranus orbit, believing something to be pulling it in the opposite direction to the Suns pull of gravity. They calculated the position of a planet and soon afterwards, discovered Neptune.• The coldest temperatures measured in the Solar System (-230°C) have been recorded on Neptunes moon, Triton.• Neptunes moon, Triton, is slowly getting closer to Neptune. Eventually, it will get so close that it may get torn apart by Neptunes gravity and possibly form rings more spectacular than Saturns.• Try not to get Neptune’s moon, Triton, confused with Saturn’s moon, Titan!!!• Triton orbits Neptune in the opposite direction to the planets rotation. It is the only large moon in the Solar System to do this.• Pluto, a dwarf planet which has an orbit which sometimes crosses Neptunes, may have been a moon of Neptune which escaped the planets pull of gravity, but being prevented from escaping the Solar System by the gravitational pull of the Sun.• Neptune is often seen as Uranus‘s twin planet. It is similar in size and colour, and has a similar chemical make-up.• Neptune has 13 moons. These moons are all very small, apart from Triton, an active moon. Press on title to go back to the homepage.
Pluto• Pluto isn’t considered a planet anymore, it is a Dwarf Planet.• All dwarf planets are smaller than all of the regular planets in the Solar System. The most famous dwarf planet, Pluto, is smaller than Earths Moon, and half the width of Jupiters moon, Ganymede.• The suggestion of the name Pluto did not come from any scientists or astronomers. Instead, it was suggested by an eleven year old schoolgirl, living in Oxford, England, called Venetia Burney!• Pluto is a distant, cold and icy world orbiting the Sun many millions of miles away from it in a region of the Solar System known as the Kuiper Belt.• Pluto has four moons orbiting it. Charon, one of Pluto’s moons, was discovered in 1978 and is almost as large as Pluto.• Plutos four moons are Charon, Hydra, Nix and another moon which doesnt yet have a name.• Pluto and its moons may think they are alone in their quiet corner of the Solar System, but a visitor is on its way! The New Horizons space probe was launched in January 2006. It is due to reach Pluto in 2015. It will complete fly by missions of Pluto, Charon, Hydra and Nix, sending back images and data about these mysterious worlds.• Clyde Tombaugh found "Planet X", which was later named Pluto by Venetia (after the Roman God of the Underworld, not Mickey Mouses dog!).• What’s unusual about Pluto, is that when it is at its closest point to the Sun, it is closer to the sun than Neptune!• Pluto was the only planet to have been discovered in the Twentieth Century, even though it is no longer recognised as a planet. Press on title to go back to the homepage.